Bing Ads Content Network

How Content Ads Work in Bing Ads Network

Bing Ads offers advertisers two distinct networks on which to advertise: the search network and the content network. This structure mirrors the Google AdWords structure in concept but is different in a few ways, which can make things somewhat confusing if you don’t have much experience with Bing Ads.

The search network in Bing Ads is for text ads, which appear only in the search results of Bing and Yahoo! for specific search queries. The content network, however, displays text ads across Bing Ads network of publisher sites. Content match is a great option for advertisers who want additional reach for their ads beyond search results pages. As of now, the content network does not support image ads in the same way Adwords does.

There are two different ways to display your ads on the content network: contextually (bidding by keyword) and manually (bidding by network or site). You can only use one method per ad group.

Contextual Content Match: Bidding by Keyword

By default, “Bidding by Keyword” will place your ad in both ‘search and content networks’, but you may opt out of using both networks and select just one if desired. We recommend that you always keep search and content networks separate. The benefits of separating your content match and search ad groups include:


  • Increased bidding control: Keywords and ads usually perform differently in the Bing Ads content match and search networks, as in other CPC advertising platforms like Google Adwords. Being able to separate data for each network and make adjustments accordingly is the key to being successful in both networks.
  • Keyword Control: Keywords that perform well on the search network may not be the same ones that perform well on the content network. Having two separate ad groups with identical ads in each network will allow you to add or subtract keywords from one without affecting the keywords in the other.


“Bidding by Keyword” option contextually places your ad on sites that are rich in keywords in your ad group; it does not require any manual selection of site placements. This option is best if you are new to the content network and want to gather data on the effectiveness of various sites and placements. (This data is available in Bing Ads Placement Report) Bidding by keyword on the content network also allows granular bidding by individual keyword, which allows for greater control and optimization based on content match performance data.

Manual Content Match: Bidding by Networks and Websites

The content network is the only option for “Bidding by Network or Website.”

Opting to bid by networks and websites allows you to place your ad across the entire Microsoft Media Network, or to manually select certain websites in which to display your ad. This option is good for advertisers who have previously used “Bidding by Keyword.” Based on data in the Placement Report, you can then identify specific sites that have worked for you in the past, and select them for your new ad group.

Overall, Bing Ads content network is a great option for advertisers looking to reach beyond the search results pages of Bing and Yahoo! and into a large, growing network of sites that will display your ads to a larger audience.